Shilpa Sayura CMS becomes an eLearning Environment

19th November 2007

Shilpa Sayura CMS was planned to build a multi language content core. This was based upon e fusion's flagship CMS uniportal designed to manage multilingual content in Sinhala, Tamil and English supporting Unicode standard.

As we continue the project, we found the rural students need something more than a CMS. we researched many e Leaning environments, and found moodle to be most powerful.

However moodle like e Learning systems had several differances to the concepts we developed for rural commmunity.

1. Too advanced interfaces mostly intended for univercities.

2. Mandatory need of a Teacher to manage and run the cources.

3. Lack of support in rural communities Sri Lanka

4. Lack of content core and a testing module

5. Lack of Sinhala Support in certain interfaces.

We tested Uniportal CMS and Moodle with several teachers and students, and found that

1. Students like total sinhala interfaces given in Shilpa Sayura

2. They liked and learned faster simpler technology in Shilpa Sayura

3. They liked to learn them self than being taught

Our options were to either modify moodle core or to create something of our own. Considering the long term benefits that can be created though a locally conceptualized system was identified at the end.

One major difference we made comparing to moodle like LMS is that Shilpa Sayura is driven by the student through self and group learning while moodle designed to be driven by Teacher.

As shilpa sayura aims to reach rural communities where lack of teachers is going to be a major problem, and Nenasala tele centers not having tutors for school syllabus. Shilpa system has to be the teacher.

We analyzed needs of rural studnets visiting Nenasala

1. Obtain Educational Content for School home work
2. Learn extra expanding knowledge

3. Test and prepare them selves for government exams

4. Devloping new skills not taught in school

5. communicating with other students

6. Create local content for self use and for the purpose of sharing.

This resulted our specification grow in software infrastructure. Although content can be created on demand, the software infrastructure is a key resource to be invested for the future.

The Nenasala models range from 2 computers to 10 computers, we had to scale the software architecture and operating environment to suit implementing locations. Nenasala uses windows XP and special servers not available.

How ever in terms of concepts and scalbility we dsigned shilpa sayura open to meet growing technologies and resources at Nenasala. The system was designed to be open, easily modifiable and scalable.

By now we have completed Shilpa Sayura Software System which is the infrastructure for Shilpa Sayura, It was to be CMS, our enthusiasm and Researh made it a really good Self and Group Learning Environment for Rural Communities.

Shipa Sayura Software Team
Niranjan Meegammana
Tusitha Randunuge
Saliya Randunuge
Chulani Padmathilaka
Gamini Chamara
Gamini Pathirana
Ranjan Dhanasuriya
Subash Dhananjaya